November 22, 2009
I get to have two Thanksgivings this year, which I think is impressive for someone who isn't even American. First up was Friends Thanksgiving, imported from Montana by dear friends with the motto "all the food and none of the family". It was one enormous, delicious, Thanksgiving-themed pot luck, and dessert was partly my responsibility. Both of my contributions were Australian - a pavlova, which I know is only controversially Australian and which I completely failed to photograph before it vanished, and this chocolate pecan galette, which seems more Franco-American than anything else, but which came from the website I'm going to more than any other for recipes at the moment: Australian Gourmet Traveller.
It doesn't look quite like the pecan pie you'd expect on the Thanksgiving dessert table; more like something in a Parisian patisserie. I wish I had better photos of the finished product, but I'm planning to make it again for real Thanksgiving, so maybe I'll update with something prettier. It's simple to make, too - just store-bought puff pastry (all butter, preferably) encasing a filling of ground pecans and semisweet chocolate. Rich and gorgeous.
Chocolate & Pecan Pie
adapted from Australian Gourmet Traveller
185g dark chocolate (at least 61% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped
25g (1/4 cup) Dutch-process cocoa
200g raw caster sugar (or raw sugar)
100g unsalted butter, softened
5 egg yolks
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 butter puff pastry sheets (375g each)
1 egg, lightly whisked with a splash of water, for egg wash
Process pecans in food processor or blender until finely ground and transfer to a bowl. Process chocolate in food processor or blender until finely ground and add to pecans. Add cocoa, sugar and butter and, using your hands, work butter into dry ingredients until well combined. Add yolks and 1/2 tsp sea salt and mix to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled (at least 1 hour, or overnight).
Line an oven sheet with baking paper. Place one sheet of pastry on the baking paper. Shape the chocolate mixture into a disc, then place it in the middle of the pastry. Use your hands to shape mixture into a 22cm / 9in diameter dome. Brush pastry edges with egg wash, then cover with the remaining pastry sheet. Trim pastry to a 25cm / 10in circle, folding edges and pressing to seal. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 220°C / 425°F. Pierce a small hole in the pastry top for steam to escape, then use a sharp knife to score a pinwheel pattern on top of the galette. Brush with remaining eggwash. Bake until golden and puffed, 20-25 minutes. Cool on a tray for 20 minutes, then serve with double cream or vanilla ice cream.